hello all. i am once again back in the states, using my own computer instead of one with a spanish keyboard with extra keys and some in the wrong places. i was very excited to come home, though i had an excellent time in spain. when we got to the airport in memphis yesterday, kate, rochelle, and i were all excited about boys who don't look gay (i.e., no man capris or man purses), waiters who split checks and actually come to your table to check on you without your flagging them down first, not having to argue with people in a foreign language, being able to use a debit card anywhere, and a whole host of other american conveniences that i totally take for granted. it was an extremely long trip (23 hours if you count the time when we left our hostel), and i was beat when i got home. no jet lag on the return trip, no siree. i only slept for about an hour during the entire 23 hours we traveled, and we only got about 4 hours of sleep monday night in madrid.
our three nights in madrid were pretty excellent. just was worried about me, kate, and rochelle being alone in such a big city in a foreign country, but we took care of ourselves just fine. we literally took every form of transportation available while we were in spain - cars, planes, trains, taxis, buses, subways, and the airport shuttle. it was pretty crazy. we took a train from alicante to madrid on saturday and checked into our hostel, which we've been told was pretty sweet as hostels go. we were so starving when we arrived that we ate at burger king because it was the only place open (it was 5 pm, way past the spanish lunch time and way before the spanish dinner time). then we went out for a tapas dinner later on that night and split a pitcher of sangria. i was poco borracha on the walk back to the hostel. then we crashed relatively early because we had kind of a big day planned for sunday. between burger king and dinner, we met a bunch of people in our hostel by just hanging out in the common room for a while. they were a pretty cool bunch.
anyway, on sunday we visited el rostro, the huge flea market in madrid. i bought a really cute skirt there, and kate bought the same one. we got a wee bit lost on the way there, but it was ok. we stopped to take my picture by the la latina metro stop. the market was phenominally huge. we walked around there for hours. we saw a guy trying to steal a bunch of perfume, and the police took it away from him, then he tried to take it from the police, and they started hitting him with their night sticks, and the guy was still trying to take stuff from them.
after el rostro, we took the metro over to all the museums. they're free on sundays, which really cool, and that sunday was the last day of the picasso exhibit at museo del prado, which was even cooler. so we walked around the prado for hours, too, and it was awesome. i was disappointed in the lack of prints for sale in the gift shop, though. they had some postcards featuring some of the paintings, but they only had a couple of my favorties.
after walking all day long, the three of us went back to the hostel for a siesta, then we went out for a tapas dinner with our roommate michaela. after dinner, we met up with a bunch of people from our hostel and a couple of others in the area for a pub crawl. it was so much fun. we paid 10 euros to visit 4 pubs with a free shot and a discount on drinks at each one and then free admission to a salsa club. it was such a long night (we were dancing for 6 hours), but it was so much fun. everyone was pretty drunk. we got to meet tons of cool people through the pub crawl, though. we hung out a lot with a gay english boy named david, and he was a hoot. i danced salsa with him for a little while. unfortunately, i'm not good at salsa dancing. there was also an australian boy who was sort of stalking me all night. i'm pretty sure he said his name was bone. weird. he was cute, but he was a little frisky, and kate had to rescue me from him once on the dance floor at the 4th bar we went to. at one point at that bar, i was really hot and sweaty from all the dancing (as was everyone else), and i turned to rochelle and yelled over the music, "rochelle! blow me!" we do this thing where we blow on each other's faces to cool us off when we're hot and sweaty, but it sounded very inappropriate. david was like, "did she just shout 'blow me' in a club?" and the australian boy was like, "did you just say what i think you said?" then rochelle blew on my face and it was all good.
the australian boy had a spanish friend from the santa pola area (that's where we were before we went to madrid), and his name was juan. he said he didn't really like santa pola and that it was no fun. i told him that i had a ton of fun in santa pola at the clubs near the castle. he was all like, "what castle?" so that was weird, because the castle is right in downtown santa pola. anyway, since i managed to have fun in santa pola and i mentioned the castle, he started calling me the queen of santa pola. and then he bowed. it was kind funny, but also kind of weird.
we got home from the pub crawl around 5 am and slept for a few hours. then we got up and took a bus over to san lorenzo de escaloria to visit the monastary and stuff there. it's where all spanish monarchs are buried, and just told us it's a good lesson in spanish history. and when we got there, it was closed. that was disappointing, but we walked around the outside, which was beautiful and HUGE. then we walked around the little town for a while and had lunch, then headed back into madrid for some sweet shopping. we hit a souvenir shop and then a bunch of really expensive stores. and then we found it. the one store that made us all extremely happy. H & M. i know we have them in the states, but nowhere near mobile. and we found such cute stuff for so little money. i bought the cutest top for 2.90 euros. i literally squeaked when i found it. ask rochelle, she was there, and she made fun of me for it. i also bought a couple of super cheap tank tops and an adorable striped, short sleeve, button up shirt that i couldn't live without. in fact, i'm wearing it right now. i love it. it has a bit of spanish sluttiness to it, since the highest button is pretty much right between my boobs, but i still love it. that was a trend we noticed in spain - slutbag. we saw a 14 year old wearing ho-veralls (overall shorts that were pretty much up her ass), and we never felt like we dressed slutty enough to fit in at any of the clubs we went to. or even slutty enough to go shopping. that's how slutty the girls dress there on an everyday basis. everything is super short, super tight, and super low cut. and a lot of it is weird. but like i said, i found some cute stuff too. but i hate european sizing. it makes me feel fat. i bought a pair of shorts, and i had to get a size 40. ick. give me a size 8 or 9 in the states over a european 40 any day. i could fit a 38, but i felt like it squeezed in odd places, so i went for the bigger size.
after shopping, we went to dinner at the vacquita argentina, a little restaurant right near our hostel. i got veggie lasagna, and it was delicious. we ordered wine with our dinner, and when we told the waiter our first choice he looked horrified and asked, "are you sure?" so kate asked if it was really bad, and he recommended a different one for us. it was pretty good and not very expensive. that whole experience was pretty funny. after dinner, we went back to the hostel to pack, and we had a new roomie. it was an american boy who's been studying arabic named tully. i liked him. michaela was on the prowl for a cute spanish boy, but we told her to go for tully. he was american, but he was cute. and funny. he seemed like a nice guy. too bad he only got there the night before we left, so we didn't really have a chance to hang out. he was trying to study for the GRE while we were packing, and i'm sure he got nothing done.
so, that was our stay in madrid. the next morning, we caught the airport shuttle at 6:30 and began our long, long series of flights home. and i'm really glad to be back.
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